Turtleneck men’s shirts are a classic fashion staple that has existed for thousands of years. Did you know they first appeared when knights in the Middle Ages needed high collars to protect them from chain mail?
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A turtle neck features a tall, close-fitting collar that you can fold down over itself to get a cleaner line. Turtlenecks work for colder weather to keep your neck warm and create clean, modern lines when paired with slacks or a blazer.
While some men wonder if they can pull off a high neck, we’re here to say: You can. Turtlenecks are chic, sophisticated, and flattering on almost everyone. Read on to learn more and see our ten best turtleneck pullovers for men.
Explore your taste and find the best in these tops for you or as a gift.
Our Shortlist: Best Turtleneck Pullovers for Men
Turtleneck price points vary, so we’ve included a range of options.
Calvin Klein Extra Fine Merino Turtleneck – Best for Smart Casual
This ultra-chic sweater gives premium luxury, warmth, and softness. The material is premium merino wool spun from fine European yarn. Calvin Klein lives up to the label and delivers the perfect men’s sweater between work, a date, or a casual weekend.
GUESS Men’s Long Sleeve Logo Turtleneck – Best For Brand Recognition
What we love about this is the GUESS label right on the collar itself. This sweater gives a bold, high-fashion statement for people who love to show off a good brand. The fabric is slightly ribbed for a slimming look, as well.
Poriff Men’s Slim Fit Thermal Turtleneck – Best for Softness
This thin, breathable cotton fabric is ideal for everyday wear and maximum comfort. The slim design allows you to wear it alone as an excellent essential – almost like a winter t-shirt – or layered under a sweater, blazer, or sports coat. We love the feel, and you can choose from several colors, including white, black, blue, and more.
COOFANDY Slim-Fit Turtleneck Knitted Pullover – Best for Holidays
This white pullover is everything you want from a Thanksgiving or Christmas sweater. The vintage waffle and cable-knit pattern are slimming and unique, accentuating your length through the torso. The material has good elasticity, so it’s slimming even though it looks like a bulky sweater.
Goodthreads Supersoft Marled Turtleneck Sweater – Best for Affordable Luxury
Goodthreads has a beautifully soft pullover that fits like a luxury sweater but at half the cost. The marled fabric gives an elevated but comfortable look, while the ribbed collar, cuffs, and hem give shape and sophistication. You can dress this versatile piece up or down and choose from several colors.
COOFANDY Men’s Cotton Pullover Hoodie – Best Hipster Style
For a unique, artisan look, go for COOFANDY’s cotton pullover hoodie. It’s a blend between a turtleneck and a hoodie, with a long torso, kangaroo pockets, and a loose, thick cowl neck. The sweater makes a statement all by itself, but you can also pair it with other layers for warmth.
PJ PAUL JONES Men’s Cable Knit Thermal Pullover – Best for a Vintage Look
This sweater can give the most classic vintage look, and this thermal pullover by PJ PAUL JONES is vintage perfection. The traditional cable knit design and thick ribbed collar are staples of winter wear. It looks great on its own or layered and comes in several color options.
Amazon Essentials Long-Sleeve Soft Turtleneck Sweater – Best Basic
An absolute classic cut, this Amazon Essentials sweater is a perfect winter wardrobe staple. The soft cotton-blend material will keep you warm, and the ribbed neckline, cuffs, and hem add just the right amount of structure and style. Choose from nine different colors.
Cashmeren Men’s Basic Turtleneck Pullover – Best 100% Cashmere
Cashmere is the cream of the crop when it comes to winter fashion and luxury materials. This basic pullover by Cashmeren is 100% cashmere for a fantastic price. The material is lightweight but warm, breathable, soft, and incredibly sophisticated. You can dress it up for formal events with suits or dress it down by itself.
PJ PAUL JONES Slim-Fit Twisted Cable Thermal Pullover – Best for Warmth
Our second sweater from PJ PAUL JONES has a slightly more unique twisted cable knit design than the vintage classic listed above. You’ll still get the sophisticated vintage look but have a unique spin you won’t see elsewhere. The material is high quality and fabulously warm for winter yet breathable.
Why We Call It a Turtleneck
They get their name from—you guessed it—turtles. The collar on a turtle neck sweater or shirt comes up high to protect the neck and looks a bit like a turtle when it pulls its neck back into its shell.
“Polo Neck” vs. “Turtleneck”
Actually, “polo neck” was the original term for a turtleneck. People in the UK generally still refer to them as “polo neck” shirts, and in Australia, they call them “skivvies.”
Can You Pull It Off?
These high necked pullovers come in a variety of shapes and sizes. They can be slim and fitted or loose and chunky.
Anyone can wear a turtleneck, but you might prefer certain styles over others, depending on your height and body type.
If you are worried that a turtleneck will make you look stunted and overweight – don’t be. These pullovers can be very slimming, disguising any extra weight we might carry in our face and neck and giving a long look through the torso.
If you’re worried about a turtle neck showing any extra weight, try layering it under another piece of structured clothing like a jacket or blazer.
Who Should Avoid Wearing a One?
Turtlenecks can look good on almost anyone, but be aware of what look you want to achieve.
If you want to look chic and modern, try a thin, black turtleneck in a slim cut and layer it under a blazer. If you want a vintage look, try a lighter-colored thick material and wear it alone.
If you run hot, though, a these pullovers might not be for you.
Are They In Style Right Now?
In fact, these sweaters are having a real fashion moment in 2021, like the H&M line, but they’ve never really been out of style.
These are a staple of classic, sophisticated winter fashion. Celebrities, royals, and even James Bond wear them.
Turtlenecks are ideal for cold fall and winter months as they add a lot of warmth to any outfit.
You can wear them plain with slacks or layer them under a hoodie, a jacket, a suit, or a blazer. Add a hat for a vintage-inspired look. They also look great with sneakers.